Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Thai Sushi, Anyone? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Thai-Sushi--Anyone_89518 In Japanese culture sushi is considered an art form because its appearance is just as important as its taste. True sushi lovers are always on the lookout for great-tasting sushi but also enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into constructing this delicacy. <br /> <br /> Mystic Thai piqued our curiousity as on our last visit we were invited to their Tuesday sushi night. We reckon there had to be something different about their sushi. Naturally, we were interested in the taste, ingredients and construct but we had to find the little nuances, so to speak. <br /> <br /> Mystic Thai selections included Kappa Maki (cucumber roll), Takuan Uramaki (pickled radish roll), Ebi Avocado Futomaki (shrimp and avocado oversized roll) and quite a few others. What made it different? Why, the Thai seasonings of course! <br /> <br /> If you are a sushi lover, Mystic Thai has some interesting offerings, check them out and see how the flavours and taste vary. Some say great sushi has more to do with the vinegared rice than the fish (interestingly, the rice was originally thrown away after the preservation process). Yes, the debate rages on, but if you are a mere foodie willing to try anything at least once, we are okay with that too.<br /> <br /> Thursday Food serves it up like only we can.<br /> <br /> Mystic Thai<br /> <br /> Address: Shop B, 11 Fairvew Shopping Centre<br /> <br /> Telephone: 876-633-6535<br /> <br /> Opening Hours: Sunday - Saturday 12:00pm - 9:45 pm<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646784/258301_85133_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM Chefs to Watch for 2017 - Hedonism II, Negril http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chefs-to-Watch-for-2017---Hedonism-II--Negril_89111 highlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> This week&rsquo;s featured chefs are from Hedonism II, Negril<br /> <br /> Davey Thomas<br /> <br /> Lead cook, Pastafari Italian Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort<br /> <br /> At age six, Davey Thomas would study the ingredients as his mother cooked. Then he would try and replicate her cooking to see how his compared. All that practice still did not lead him to a six-burner stove. Actually, he took what he thought was the safe road by becoming an auto mechanic. But the passion for cooking had already taken root and Thomas eventually heeded and enrolled in the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre, where he studied Food Preparation. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I love trying new flavours and taking traditional recipes and adding new stuff. I take pride in my cooking as it reflects on me as an individual; it&rsquo;s my pride,&rdquo; he says. Thomas spends a lot of his time surfing the Internet for new ideas and says, &ldquo;No matter what area you are in, you have to have a passion for it, otherwise it makes no sense.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Thomas likes preparing anything with seafood and he continues to hone his skills by cooking at home daily.<br /> <br /> Milton Paltie<br /> <br /> Garde manger, Hedonism II Resort<br /> <br /> &ldquo;An ice-carving genius,&rdquo; says Executive Chef Anthony Miller of Milton Paltie.<br /> <br /> Paltie was 14 the first time his aunt asked him to prepare a meal. Having no idea what to cook he enlisted the help of a friend, who added thyme, escallion and butter to the pot. The final result &mdash; steam fish &mdash; got rave reviews. To this day his aunt has no idea that he was not the cook. <br /> <br /> Briefly sidetracked by carpentry until that income stream slowed, he found himself at Couples Tower Isle, the result of hearing about a vacancy in the steward&rsquo;s department.<br /> <br /> When he arrived with a friend the only jobs available were for cooks. Certain that they would not qualify, they got the jobs nevertheless and started in the pantry. After a few months we was awarded Cook 1 (the highest level team member). &ldquo;Every day I was working from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm for about two years. The financial controller asked why I was working those long hours. I told him it&rsquo;s not what I was putting in but what I was getting back, and what I was getting back was a salary and experience, so I felt that I was the one winning.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Paltie realised that he could make this his profession after travelling to North America and seeing the respect accorded chefs.<br /> <br /> He took certification courses through Johnson and Wales in Kitchen Management, Sanitation and Garde Manger. His true passion, he decided, was fruit, vegetable and ice carving. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like a painter with his canvas. For me, my canvas is the ice or the produce.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A recipient of many awards, Paltie has copped: the 2002 JCDC silver medal for ice carving and fish platter<br /> <br /> 2004 Curry Festival gold medal for fruit, vegetable and ice carving <br /> <br /> 2008 Wow Festival Master Ice Carver<br /> <br /> 2015 & 2016 Taste of Jamaica gold medalist for the ice carving <br /> <br /> 2106 Taste of Jamaica silver medal, lamb platter <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think cooking chose me,&rdquo; he tells Thursday Food.<br /> <br /> Rashane Reid<br /> <br /> Harry San Japanese Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort<br /> <br /> Twenty-one-year-old Rashane Reid says, &ldquo;Cooking is in my genes; my father is a chef (in Nantucket) and as a child he always had me in the kitchen. My uncles are restaurateurs and bakers, my grandmother&rsquo;s gizzada, grater and toto cakes were amazing and famous.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> As a child I was in awe of my father&rsquo;s knife skills and knew I wanted to follow suit.<br /> <br /> My first culinary expression was a fried egg which I overcooked. I was instructed by my mother to repeat the process until I got it right. To this day I am still fascinated by how many ways a simple egg can be prepared and, also, there is nothing about an egg I can&rsquo;t tell you. My mother continues to be my motivator. A few years ago she had a stroke and I made a promise to always make her proud. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;My driving philosophy comes from my favourite book You Can Work Your Own miracle by Napoleon Hill. It says: &ldquo;I am who I am, where I am, because of my daily habits.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Hedonism is Reid&rsquo;s first full-time job. He started as a trainee and through dedication and hard work now enters competitions like Taste of Jamaica. &ldquo;Hedonism took me from a baby to a man, and the best part of being a chef is seeing people&rsquo;s faces when they taste your food. There is a bond between the diner and the chef.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Reid&rsquo;s favourite meal to cook is chicken back with pumpkin served with cornmeal dumplings. <br /> <br /> Odiane Whitelock<br /> <br /> Pastafaria Italian Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort<br /> <br /> Odane Whitelocke remembers, as if it were yesterday, the day in 2005 when he decided he wanted to become a chef. &ldquo;My family members had a restaurant and I had started to work in there. I fell in love with it.&rdquo; That same year he enrolled at HEART Petersfield, where the love affair continued.<br /> <br /> In 2009, in a quest to further his culinary skills, he attended George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. &ldquo;For me, cooking is an art and I love art. It&rsquo;s an area where I am very confident in my abilities and not afraid to challenge myself through competitions.<br /> <br /> In 2015, Whitelocke placed third in the Taste of Jamaica Chef of the Year and in 2016, he placed first in the beef category with a dish he called authentic beef roulade. <br /> <br /> Being from a family in which both parents cooked, food and cooking were always a part of his socialisation.<br /> <br /> His favourite dish to cook is chicken and beef pasta in Alfredo sauce. <br /> <br /> After 12 years his passion has not waned. Indeed, he is fully aware of just how much more there is to learn.<br /> <br /> Oshane Powell, cook<br /> <br /> Flame Chop House, Hedonism II Resort<br /> <br /> At the age of seven Oshane Powell was cooking curried pork. Not that he intended to. But one day his stepfather, the cook in the family, had an emergency. It was left to Oshane to handle dinner. Thankfully, the pork was a hit and a chef was born. <br /> <br /> Powell, who studied Food and Nutrition in school, nevertheless went on to work as an auto mechanic but would continue to cook at home for the family. The neighbours would always ask: &lsquo;Who is cooking?&rsquo; as the aroma wafted through the yard. <br /> <br /> Deciding to give cooking his full attention, Powell arrived at Hedonism as a trainee and, through hard work and love of art, started fruit and vegetable carving. Using YouTube and cooking shows to practise and improve he eventually ended up cooking in the main kitchen. <br /> <br /> In 2016, Chef Anthony Miller entered Powell in the Taste of Jamaica cooking competition. Powell copped the Junior Chef of the Year title with his chicken breast wrapped with sausage and a sweet potato tower, as well as a seafood chowder.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I love food. I am passionate about food, so I am willing to learn everything!&rdquo; he shares with Thursday Food<br /> <br /> .<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646866/257589_85184_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM A &lsquo;Pop Up&rsquo; Culinary Adventure http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A--Pop-Up--Culinary-Adventure_89463 One week after Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2015 Caterer of the Year Alexa Von Strolley gave Kingston its latest culinary destination, she, along with eight of her culinary peers, cooked up a storm at Kayter Pop-Up Gourmet Kitchen located at 18 Ballater Avenue.<br /> <br /> The result: a scrumptious spread of the not-so-traditional.<br /> <br /> Thursday Food naturally left with the recipes and reckon that like us, you might wish to try a few.<br /> <br /> Bon App&eacute;tit!<br /> <br /> Camembert and Smoked Gouda Fondue with Truffle Salt by Brian Lumley<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1 clove garlic<br /> <br /> 150ml Chardonnay wine<br /> <br /> 400g Camembert cheese<br /> <br /> 200g smoked Gouda cheese<br /> <br /> 1 tsp truffle salt<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Rub the garlic clove on the bottom as well as up the sides of the fondue pot, then discard.<br /> <br /> Pour in the wine and add the cheese. Bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat until the cheese has completely melted.<br /> <br /> Remove from the heat and season with truffle salt. Keep warm over a small candle or flame and serve warm.<br /> <br /> Creamy Avocado Cauliflower Rice by Allison Porter - Smalling<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 3 heads cauliflower (florets chopped fine similar to rice size)<br /> <br /> 1 avocado<br /> <br /> &frac12; cup coconut oil<br /> <br /> 1 cup cilantro<br /> <br /> 1 &frac12; tbsp lime juice<br /> <br /> 4 cloves garlic<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup olive oil<br /> <br /> 25 ml sesame oil<br /> <br /> 1 tsp salt<br /> <br /> &frac14; tsp chilli powder<br /> <br /> &frac12; tsp cumin<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp Badia complete seasoning<br /> <br /> Black pepper<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Pour coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saut&eacute; chopped cauliflower florets with complete seasoning for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it has reached the desired texture. <br /> <br /> In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, cumin, garlic, olive oil, avocado, sesame oil, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. <br /> <br /> Pour blended mixture over cauliflower and serve immediately.<br /> <br /> Cucumber Spinach Salad by Allison Porter - Smalling<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 5 cucumbers (seeds removed, thinly sliced in long strips)<br /> <br /> 2 cups spinach<br /> <br /> &frac12; cup purple onion<br /> <br /> &frac12; cup yellow sweet pepper<br /> <br /> &frac12; cup red sweet pepper<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp red wine vinegar<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp sherry vinegar<br /> <br /> 1 &frac12; tbsp olive oil<br /> <br /> 2 jalape&ntilde;o peppers (diced)<br /> <br /> 1 &frac12; tbsp sugar<br /> <br /> 1&frac12; tsp sea salt<br /> <br /> 1 &frac12; tsp pepper<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Combine all ingredients in a dish except for the spinach and toss until evenly coated. <br /> <br /> Place in refrigerator for about 1 hour. <br /> <br /> When making the salad, place spinach leaves at the bottom of salad bowl; using a slotted spoon combine the vegetables and place in the middle of the bed of the spinach. Sprinkle some of the liquid from mixture over the salad. Parmesan cheese and black sesame seeds for garnish.<br /> <br /> Chef&rsquo;s Note: You can cut jalape&ntilde;o in rings and use as garnish.<br /> <br /> Bouchon Bakery&rsquo;s TKO Cookies by Rebecca Karram<br /> <br /> The recipe I used was out of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook by Chef Thomas Keller.<br /> <br /> It is as follows:<br /> <br /> Makes: eight 3-inch sandwich cookies<br /> <br /> White Chocolate Filling<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 4 ounces (125 grams) 35% white chocolate, chopped<br /> <br /> 0.5 ounce (15 grams) unsalted butter <br /> <br /> &frac12; cup & 1 tsp (125 grams) heavy cream <br /> <br /> Chocolate Shortbread<br /> <br /> 1 &frac34; cups and 1 &frac12;tbsps (259 grams) all-purpose flour <br /> <br /> 1 cup and 1&frac12; tbsps (87 grams) unsweetened alkalised cocoa powder <br /> <br /> 3/8 tsp (1.6 grams) baking soda <br /> <br /> 8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter <br /> <br /> 2 tsps (6 grams) Kosher salt <br /> <br /> &frac34; cup and 1 tbsp (161 grams) granulated sugar<br /> <br /> Method: <br /> <br /> For the filling:<br /> <br /> Melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring constantly.<br /> <br /> Bring the cream to just under a simmer.<br /> <br /> Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.<br /> <br /> Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day, until completely chilled.<br /> <br /> For the shortbread:<br /> <br /> Place the flour in a medium bowl, sift in the cocoa and baking soda, and whisk to combine.<br /> <br /> Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.<br /> <br /> Turn to medium-low speed and mix until smooth.<br /> <br /> Add the salt and mix for another 15 to 30 seconds.<br /> <br /> Add the sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy.<br /> <br /> Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.<br /> <br /> Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined, then mix until the dough begins to come together.<br /> <br /> Mould the dough on the work surface and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together into a 6-inch-square block.<br /> <br /> Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)<br /> <br /> Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325&Acirc;&deg;F (standard).<br /> <br /> Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.<br /> <br /> Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat (this will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled).<br /> <br /> Roll out to a J-inch-thick sheet. If the dough has softened, slide it (in the parchment) onto the back of a sheet pan and refrigerate until firm enough to cut.<br /> <br /> Using the fluted cutter, cut rounds from the dough. If necessary, push the trimmings together, refrigerate until firm, and reroll for a total of 16 rounds. (Any trimmings can be baked as is, cooled, and ground in the food processor to use as cookie crumbs over ice-cream.) If the dough softens, return to the refrigerator until the cookies are firm enough to transfer to a sheet pan. Arrange the rounds on the sheet pans, leaving about one inch between them. (The dough can be shaped in advance; see Note.)<br /> <br /> Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through baking, until the cookies are fragrant, with small cracks on the surface. (Because the cookies are so dark, it can be difficult to tell when they are done.) Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.<br /> <br /> To assemble the cookies: Place the filling in the bowl of the mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until smooth. Transfer to the pastry bag.<br /> <br /> Turn half of the cookies over. Pipe 1/2-inch-long teardrops in a ring on each one, beginning 1/2 inch from the edges of the cookie, and then, working toward the centre, pipe concentric rings of teardrops to cover the cookie (use 18 grams of filling per cookie). Top each with a second cookie and press gently to sandwich the cookies.<br /> <br /> The cookies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container, at room temperature if unfilled, or refrigerated if filled, for up to 3 days.<br /> <br /> Tuna Poke by Alexa Von Strolley<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 4 servings<br /> <br /> 2 cups short-grain sushi rice<br /> <br /> 1 &frac12; tsp Kosher salt, plus more<br /> <br /> 3 tbsp mirin, divided<br /> <br /> 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided<br /> <br /> &frac12; tsp on sesame seeds, plus more for serving<br /> <br /> &frac14; cup unseasoned rice vinegar<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp sugar<br /> <br /> &frac14; English hothouse cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, sliced crosswise into half-moons<br /> <br /> 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, thinly sliced<br /> <br /> 2 escallions, thinly sliced<br /> <br /> &frac14; cup mixed fresh citrus juice (such as lime, lemon and grapefruit)<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp white soy sauce or soy sauce<br /> <br /> 1 tsp toasted sesame oil<br /> <br /> &frac34; pound highest-quality fresh tuna, cut into &Acirc;&frac12;-inch pieces<br /> <br /> Tobiko (for serving; optional)<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Rinse and drain rice in a fine-mesh sieve several times until water runs clear. Let sit 30 minutes.<br /> <br /> Combine rice and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, season lightly with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover saucepan, and simmer until rice is tender, 18-22 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; keep warm.<br /> <br /> Mix in a clean small bowl with 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp sesame seeds; let sit 5 minutes. <br /> <br /> Whisk vinegar, sugar, 1 &Acirc;&frac12;tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp water in another small bowl. Toss cucumber with a pinch of salt in another bowl and squeeze to expel excess water. Add cucumber and Scotch bonnet to brine and let sit at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour to pickle.<br /> <br /> Soak escallions in a medium bowl of cold water until they begin to curl, about 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry.<br /> <br /> Combine citrus juice, white soy sauce, oil, remaining 2 tbsp mirin, and remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce in another small bowl; set ponzu aside.<br /> <br /> Toss tuna, drained pickles, scallions, and ponzu in a large bowl; season with salt.<br /> <br /> Just before serving, toss avocado into tuna mixture. Divide rice among bowls and top with tuna mixture, more sesame seeds, and some tobiko, if using.<br /> <br /> Garlic Cheddar Biscuits by Charissa Henry<br /> <br /> Makes: 8 biscuits<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 2 cups flour<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp baking powder<br /> <br /> &frac34; tsp salt<br /> <br /> &frac12; tsp garlic powder<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp sugar<br /> <br /> &frac14; cup shortening<br /> <br /> 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (sharp is best)<br /> <br /> 1 cup milk<br /> <br /> Garlic Butter Glaze:<br /> <br /> 3 tbsp melted butter<br /> <br /> &frac12; tsp dried parsley<br /> <br /> 1/8 tsp garlic salt<br /> <br /> &frac14; tsp garlic powder<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients till shortening is about the size of peas. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Add the milk and stir lightly, till just barely combined. Don&rsquo;t overmix or the biscuits will be tough. Use a &frac14;-cup measuring cup or ice-cream scoop to place balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425&deg;F for 13-15 minutes or till golden brown. Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk well. Brush over hot biscuits.<br /> <br /> Fromage de t&ecirc;te (Head Cheese) by Haleem Card<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> A whole pig head<br /> <br /> A pigs trotter<br /> <br /> 5 or 6 garlic cloves<br /> <br /> Optionally, some vegetables cut in large cubes to flavour the stock (carrots, leeks, onions and celery are all good options)<br /> <br /> 2 bay leaves<br /> <br /> Salt and pepper to taste (optional)<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Using a clean hacksaw, cut the pig&rsquo;s head into quarters, straight down the middle then each half into quarters.<br /> <br /> Place the whole head in a large pot and cover with cold water.<br /> <br /> Add the aromatic vegetables, crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Since the stock will be part of the final dish, it&rsquo;s important to give it some taste with either aromatic vegetables or spices or both.<br /> <br /> Slowly bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let simmer until the meat is fork tender (about 3 hours).<br /> <br /> Remove the head from the water, wait until the meat can be picked without burning yourself and then pick the meat in small pieces and place in a shallow container.<br /> <br /> Strain the liquid and simmer for another 2 hours, or until reduced by half. The longer you let it go, the more gelatin will be extracted from the bones and the more gelatinous it will get when cooled.<br /> <br /> Once the stock is done, pour some over the cooked pork meat, just enough to allow the meat to be combined.<br /> <br /> Place the container in the refrigerator and let it cool.<br /> <br /> Enjoy your lovely home-made head cheese on crackers, or toasted crostini. <br /> <br /> Coconut Curry Mussels by Simon Levy<br /> <br /> Serves 2<br /> <br /> Total time: 20 minutes<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 2.5 pounds mussels<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp coconut oil<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp butter<br /> <br /> 1 sprig thyme<br /> <br /> 1 sweet onion, diced<br /> <br /> 2 garlic cloves, minced<br /> <br /> 1/4 tsp salt<br /> <br /> 1/4 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper (add to taste)<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp red curry paste<br /> <br /> 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup chicken (or seafood) stock<br /> <br /> 2 green onions, sliced<br /> <br /> Baguettes or bread for serving<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Thaw mussels in water if using frozen mussels or if using fresh mussels, keep the mussels refrigerated until you&rsquo;re ready to use. Once ready, place them in a large bowl of ice-cold water. Scrub the outsides of the mussels and remove the string (or &ldquo;beard&rdquo;) by using a towel or paper towel to pull it out. Discard any mussels that have opened already. Keep the mussels in the ice water.<br /> <br /> Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add the butter and coconut oil. Once it&rsquo;s melted, stir in the onions, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste and continue to stir until it&rsquo;s distributed throughout the entire pan of onions. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and stock, stirring until it&rsquo;s smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the mussels and toss. Cover the skillet and cook about 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions. Stir the mussels well so the broth makes it into the shells. Serve immediately with baguettes.<br /> <br /> Brioche buns by Chef Andre Sewell<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1/2 lb melted unsalted butter<br /> <br /> 3 1/2 tsp yeast<br /> <br /> 3/4 to 1 cup milk<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup sugar<br /> <br /> 2 large eggs<br /> <br /> 1 tsp salt<br /> <br /> 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Thoroughly combine all dry ingredients. <br /> <br /> Combine all wet ingredients, until eggs are beaten smooth. Start out with 3/4 cup milk, reserving the 1/4 cup in case dough is too dry. <br /> <br /> Pour dry ingredients into wet and knead with the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer, until dough is very smooth and elastic. <br /> <br /> Lightly grease a bowl, place dough in, cover and let proof in a warm place, for 60-90 minutes; until doubled in size. Place dough in fridge overnight to further develop flavour and to make it easier to work with. <br /> <br /> Remove dough from fridge, portion, form into balls and let proof on baking tray one final time, for 90 minutes, until doubled in size. <br /> <br /> Brush with melted butter and bake in preheated 350&deg;F oven for 30 minutes, until internal temp reaches 190&deg;, or until bread springs back when poked. <br /> <br /> Remove from oven when finished and brush with more melted butter. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting/tearing. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646951/258278_85265_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM A Tasty Debut http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Tasty-Debut_88666 A look at the menu at Debut Brick Oven Pizza Restaurant immediately gives the feeling that you are about to experience a culinary journey. Menu options certainly draw from different parts of the world. These include Indian chicken tikka, Lebanese chicken shish tauak, honey and mustard glazed barbecue pork sausages, jerk chicken, home-made cheese ravioli and jalape&ntilde;o cheese poppers.<br /> <br /> The restaurant is also one of the newest eateries in the resort city of Montego Bay and is located on the Hip Strip (Gloucester Ave) as well. Its brick oven-style pizzas are a main draw, and customers are allowed to customise their own or select from options such as Pizza Pacifica (smoked Pacific marlin, capers, sour cream and tomato sauce), Pizza Manchurian (veggie balls, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese). Is it just us or is anyone else thinking date night here?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is best described as the trendiest, newest chill spot in Montego Bay, quickly developing a reputation for its handcrafted brick oven pizza and multi-cuisine grill. We recreate food with a global flavour through a blend of local and international cuisine; utmost for us is leaving diners with a memorable experience. Each item on our menu is made from scratch daily, using the freshest ingredients available from local farmers,&rdquo; stated owner Vijay Singh. <br /> <br /> Debut Brick Oven Pizza Restaurant<br /> <br /> Address: Shop 15, The Shops at Bay Harbour, Gloucester Ave, Montego Bay<br /> <br /> Telephone: 876-971-6566<br /> <br /> Opening Hours: Sunday - Saturday 10:00 am - 10: 00 pm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646792/256694_85142_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM Chill the wine, Not The Glass http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chill-the-wine--Not-The-Glass_89502 This continues to be a sore topic for many wine consumers. Thrice last week I had to endure &lsquo;hot&rsquo; wine. When one bartender even offered me ice for my wine, I thought to myself: &ldquo;Haven&rsquo;t we been preaching this enough?&rdquo; Chilling the glass is for cocktails. <br /> <br /> Serving temperature is one of the three most important components in our control that will affect our enjoyment of wine; two other important components are stemware and aeration &mdash; letting the wine breathe.<br /> <br /> We often hear that white wines are to be served chilled, and red wines are to be served at room temperature. That is WRONG. This advice on room temperature relates to climates that are much colder than Jamaica and the Caribbean. As a result of this advice, red wines are almost always served too hot in Jamaica. Serving white wines cold is fine, as they will warm up very quickly.<br /> <br /> Ideal serving temperature<br /> <br /> Ultimately it&rsquo;s all about your personal taste, but most red wines taste best at temperatures between 58 degrees and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (14 to 20 degrees Celsius). The red wine bottle or wine glass should be slightly cool to the touch. The cooler side of that scale is for the lighter wines like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Rioja, and Chianti. Merlot and Cabernet-based wines do best at the other end of that scale.<br /> <br /> Most white wines do best between 44&deg;F to 54&deg;F (7 &deg;C to 12 &deg;C). Serving any wine too cold will numb its flavours. The bottle or glass of white wine should be cool to the touch. The cooler side of that scale is for the lighter wines like Rieslings and refreshing Sauvignon Blancs. Chardonnay-based wines taste best at the warmer end of this scale. Sparkling wines and Champagnes are to be served cold.<br /> <br /> Quick chill<br /> <br /> An ice bucket with water is the best way to bring wines to the correct serving temperature. A bottle of red wine would need to sit in the bucket for about 10 minutes; otherwise, place in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then serve it from the table after that. To bring your white wine to a temperature that will give you the most drinking pleasure, place it in the bucket for about 20-30 minutes or about one hour in the fridge. To reduce the cooling time in the ice bucket, add salt. Remember that a cooler wine can warm up to the correct temperature. Come on, this is not that hard! Please keep talking to the bar and wait staff.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If your heart is warm with happiness, you&rsquo;ll need a glass; if sorrow chills your heart, have two!&rdquo; = Lehmusvuori<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &mdash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13647175/258291_85132_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM A &lsquo;Pop&rsquo; of Flavour http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-of--Pop--Flavour_88787 Alexa Von Strolley has given Kingston its newest culinary destination. The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2015 co-recipient of Caterer of the Year fulfilled a vision board checklist item, last weekend, with the launch of her Kayter Pop-Up Kitchen on Ballater Avenue. &ldquo;I have a lot of chef friends in the industry,&rdquo; Von Strolley told Thursday Food as she oversaw preparation of gourmet bites in the kitchen, Saturday last, for an intimate gathering of her nearest and dearest. &ldquo;We always toyed around with the idea of opening a restaurant, but the long-term commitment for a restaurant is a little crazy so I figured why not have a pop-up spot where we are catering not only to the public but [also] culinary adventurous diners,&rdquo; she explained. From that, Kayter was born. <br /> <br /> The opening was a doozy for the award-winner, allowing her to showcase a nine-course gourmet menu replete with European, Latin and Asian influences that scored raves from guests. <br /> <br /> As for the road ahead for Kayter, which she reveals will open once or twice monthly, Von Strolley said: &ldquo;The menu will change by either a particular country&rsquo;s food fare or how I am feeling, really.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I like to do is, when I travel, I like to recreate dishes,&rdquo; she told us. &ldquo;I will fail miserably or I will make something new within itself, so really it just changes on my mood, which is what I think cooking is; it is an art and how you are feeling and what you want to do,&rdquo; Von Strolley added.<br /> <br /> To be at the table for Kayter Pop Up Kitchen&rsquo;s next event, please e-mail tooksie.catering@gmail.com or send a DM on Instagram to @kayterkingston or @tooksie_kay_ catering<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13630164/256882_83819_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, February 09, 2017 3:00 AM Campari, Take 5! - Part 2 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Campari--Take-5----Part-2_88625 Thursday Life concludes its Campari Red Diaries &mdash; every cocktail tells a story &mdash; 12 Cocktails reveal captured brilliantly by acclaimed Argentinian photographer Ale Burset and directed by Ivan Olita.<br /> <br /> A Hora Incomparavel<br /> <br /> Fabio La Pietra<br /> <br /> Brazil<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 4 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 4 cl Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso infused with peanuts<br /> <br /> 7pm soda, dehydrated grapefruit and lemon peel<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Place a large chunk of ice in the glass.<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour the soda in, then Campari and the peanut-infused vermouth.<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with dehydrated grapefruit and lemon peel.<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock <br /> <br /> The Spirit of Rock<br /> <br /> Yannis Samaras<br /> <br /> Greece<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 5 cl red florina pepper-infused Campari<br /> <br /> 5 cl mandarin juice<br /> <br /> 1 cl chickpea water, gin and tonic float<br /> <br /> Kalamon olives<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour the red florina pepper-infused Campari, mandarin juice and chickpea water into a mixing tin and blend together using an electronic mixer.<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour into a highball glass filled with ice.<br /> <br /> &bull; Top with the gin and tonic float and garnish with 2 Kalamon olives.<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Highball <br /> <br /> Beyond The Veil<br /> <br /> Jim Wrigley<br /> <br /> UK<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 3 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 1.5 cl rhum agricole<br /> <br /> 2.5cl bergamot & yuzi cordial<br /> <br /> Orange peel and rose petals<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.<br /> <br /> &bull; Stir with a bar spoon and then strain into a frozen rock glass over a Lapsang tea-flavoured iceball.<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with orange peel and a rose petal.<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock <br /> <br /> Commedia All&rsquo; Italiana<br /> <br /> Seba Atienza<br /> <br /> Argentina<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 2.5cl Campari<br /> <br /> 2.5 cl Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso<br /> <br /> 1.5 cl Frattina moscata grappa<br /> <br /> 2.5 cl Aperol<br /> <br /> 1.5 cl Maraschino<br /> <br /> Lemon peel and Campari orange-glazed popcorn<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with a large amount of ice.<br /> <br /> &bull; Stir with a bar spoon and strain into a chilled glass with no ice. <br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with lemon peel. <br /> <br /> &bull; Serve with Campari orange-glazed popcorn.<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Coupe<br /> <br /> Chepari<br /> <br /> Bettina Kupsa<br /> <br /> Germany<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour all the ingredients into a shaker.<br /> <br /> &bull; Shake well and strain, then pour into a chilled coupe glass.<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with the orange foam (prepared beforehand).<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Coupe<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13631248/camp_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 09, 2017 3:00 AM Red Stripe Launches Cans Of Flavoured Beer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Red-Stripe-Launches-Cans-Of-Flavoured-Beer_88628 What&rsquo;s sleek, slips perfectly in your handbag and looks elegant in your hand? Red Stripe Sorrel and Lemon Paradise, that&rsquo;s what!<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;ve not seen the cans front-row fashion week yet, but we will be on the lookout!<br /> <br /> Until then enjoy the new look in a can and the bold, crisp flavours of Lemon Paradise and Sorrel. &ldquo;Introducing cans is an initiative that we are really excited about,&rdquo; said Nasha- Monique Douglas, senior brand manager for Red Stripe. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a convenient option that works in all areas and we are expecting a great response from Red Stripe fans.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The cans, containing 250 millilitres, are made from fast-cooling materials to ensure optimal temperatures for the popular lager. &ldquo;This new packaging is the next step for the world&rsquo;s coolest beer. Red Stripe cans help to make sure our consumers get that ice-cold Red Stripe faster so they can savour the taste and enjoy responsibly.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Pick up your cans of flavoured beer from supermarkets and wholesales islandwide. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13629980/256622_83811_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 09, 2017 12:00 AM Caf&eacute; Mocha, Not Your Ordinary Coffee Shop http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Caf--Mocha--Not-Your-Ordinary-Coffee-Shop_88663 Caf&eacute; Mocha sounds like just a coffee shop, right? Well, it&rsquo;s not! This eatery serves a mean escoveitch fish (yes, you read right, escoveitch fish).<br /> <br /> While it does serve a wide variety of coffee offerings, the food complement does not revolve around croissants, sandwiches, bagels and muffins, but well-prepared meals worthy of note. Menu offerings include jerk chicken flatbread, jerk pork spring rolls and pork chops.<br /> <br /> Fast becoming the preferred spot for young entrepreneurs in the second city for business meetings and lunches, Caf&eacute; Mocha is conveniently located on the Hip Strip (Gloucester Ave), with a balcony view perfectly suited for beach gazing or sunset watching, positioning it as a favourite for visitors, as well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We wanted to create a comfortable spot, with good food that would have an inclusive feel about it; we absolutely didn&rsquo;t want locals to feel like this was just a place for tourists. So everything that we did revolved around that theme. Our menu prices are in local currency and we have kept the prices affordable, as well,&rdquo; explained Marlene Wilson-Hacker, owner, Caf&eacute; Mocha.<br /> <br /> Now that, Thursday Food reckons, is reason enough to visit! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13629992/256686_83799_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 09, 2017 12:00 AM All the way from Lodi &mdash; Michael David Winery http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/All-the-way-from-Lodi---Michael-David-Winery_88776 The very first time I paid attention to the Lodi region, located in the Central Valley of California, east of San Francisco Bay, was when they had a trade tasting at a Society of Wine Educators event that I attended several years ago in Oregon. Zinfandel always pops to mind each time Lodi is mentioned, as most of the great Zinfandels that I have tasted are from this region. It&rsquo;s no wonder that Lodi has been dubbed the &ldquo;Zinfandel Capital of the World&rdquo;. Lodi has been raising their game over the past few decades and Jamaicans have been enjoying some of the excellent wines in our market hailing from this region.Do you take notice of the regions from where your wines hail? You should.<br /> <br /> MICHAEL DAVID WINERY<br /> <br /> The multi-award-winning Michael David Winery, owned by brothers Michael and David Phillips, is a Lodi winery of distinction; it is one of the fastest growing wineries in the United States and many of its wines have made it to the top of several critics&rsquo; lists. I remember the first time I tasted their flagship wine, more than 10 years ago. I found the name interesting &mdash; The 7 Deadly Sins &mdash; and more importantly, I liked its spicy, jammy taste. It has been named the number 1 Zinfandel in America by several publications. The winery has become known for its very colourful and catchy labels &mdash; my favourite being the Petite Petit, featuring two elephants representing Michael and David, perhaps. <br /> <br /> DAVID PHILLIPS VISITS JAMAICA<br /> <br /> I was very happy when local importer Select Brands began importing the wines of Michael David Winery into Jamaica, especially with the introduction of the Inkblot brands, of which the Tannat is my favourite. A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of welcoming President/Co-owner David Phillips and his wife Corrinne to our shores, where he conducted a few wine tastings and hosted a sold-out dinner at Uncorked in Kingston before heading to the north coast. The delightful six-course dinner featured the following wines: a subtle, playful Michael David Chardonnay; the juicy, mouth-watering 6th Sense Syrah; the fresh, zesty Michael David Sauvignon Blanc; the bold complex Inkblot Tannat; the deep, full-bodied Earthquake; and a medium-bodied, spicy Incognito. <br /> <br /> REGGAE AND RHONE AT MICHAEL DAVID WINERY<br /> <br /> Although this was David&rsquo;s first visit to Jamaica, Jamaica has been on his mind for several years. In August of this year his winery will host the 15th staging of his annual major charity event dubbed &ldquo;Reggae and Rhone&rdquo;. The Lodi region has become home to many of France&rsquo;s Rhone region&rsquo;s grape varietals (WHITES - Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne; REDS - Cinsault, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre), and Michael David Winery produces some great examples of these. Every year a few hundred guests will descend on the winery to listen to reggae music compliments of Mystic Bowie and the Talking Dreads, sample Jamaican dishes, and sip Rhone-style wines. <br /> <br /> Other labels from Michael David Winery include Petite Petit, Freakshow, Rapture and Lust.<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &mdash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13630236/256866_83771_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, February 09, 2017 12:00 AM Chefs to watch for 2017 - Montego Bay Convention Centre  http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chefs-to-watch-for-2017_88641 Thursday Food highlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> This week&rsquo;s featured chefs are from the Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> Randie Anderson<br /> <br /> Executive Chef, Director of Culinary, Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> Randie Anderson, originally from Southfield in St Elizabeth, has been cooking since he was 18 years old and started to take his craft seriously even from then. Anderson studied Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management at the Art Institute of New York and later was the recipient of a James Beard Foundation scholarship to study Gastronomic Tourism at Le Cordon Bleu in Adelaide, Australia. Anderson credits his mother Laura Parchment and his father Lloyd Anderson for inspiring and supporting his passion for wanting to become a chef, and not just any chef as he wanted to be the fastest chef in the world.<br /> <br /> Anderson&rsquo;s culinary journey has taken him to the Four Points Sheraton in Florida, McCormick Place in Chicago and stints at Rainforest Seafoods, the Super Clubs Group and the Sunset Group of Hotels. Describing his style as abstract, free-style and having a traditional base with a modern finish, Anderson&rsquo;s love of seafood and fresh herbs are often incorporated into his go-to dishes.<br /> <br /> It is the executive chef&rsquo;s fervent belief that Jamaica can truly be considered a culinary destination; he has his sights set on developing that side of our tourism product. Listing Chef Paul Bucose as someone he would love to work with, he hopes his style will influence other Jamaicans to set Jamaica&rsquo;s culinary bar a few notches higher.<br /> <br /> Anna-Loy Wilson<br /> <br /> Chef de Partie, Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> Twenty-two-year-old Anna-Loy Wilson, hailing from Falmouth in Trelawny, and a graduate of Northwest TVET Institute-Kenilworth Campus, showed tremendous culinary aptitude during her high school years and was encouraged to follow her passion. Wilson is looking to the future and credits this period as the time to sharpen her skills in anticipation of earning her Master Chef certification one day. She enjoys working with cheesecake and was the recipient of a silver medal at Taste of Jamaica 2013 for her cheesecake entry. An ardent seeker of knowledge, she constantly quizzes senior chefs, to learn as much as she can, even venturing into the realms, of meat and seafood.<br /> <br /> Describing her style as based on her personality, her focus is on the construct of the dish, very methodical, brought on by her quest for knowledge but always keeping in mind that the client should be satisfied with the outcome.<br /> <br /> Neil &lsquo;Monster&rsquo; Clarke<br /> <br /> Chef/Team Leader, Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> Neil Clarke has 14 years of experience under his belt and has worked at several hotels, including Beaches Sandy Bay in Negril, Sandals Group, Sunset at the Palms, and the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa, where he was part of the team to prepare meals for the King and Queen of Spain.<br /> <br /> Clarke likes challenges and is constantly experimenting with different flavours, textures, herbs and spices. Known for his bold dishes, he has a fondness for meat and is all about the fusion. He is looking forward to the day when he can understudy a Master Chef. For now, he is happy with people&rsquo;s reaction to his dishes, especially visitors from overseas attending conferences at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.<br /> <br /> Clarke is always desirous of learning more and continues to explore the fusions and creations that he can deliver. Describing himself as a risk-taker he is not afraid to go outside the box.<br /> <br /> Damion &lsquo;Wildest&rsquo; Samuels<br /> <br /> Chef/ Team Supervisor, Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> A peek under Damion Samuels&rsquo;s toque blanche reveals hair dyed red, giving you an insight into his nickname and style. He is all about the fanfare and theatrics around the dish and presentation, but ironically keeps the dishes very simple.<br /> <br /> Cooking for the past last 11 years, Samuels says his mom was his motivation, as she was also a chef and the passion she exhibited in the kitchen fascinated him; he was curious as to what it was that made her so happy.<br /> <br /> Samuels hails from Clarks Town in Trelawny and has worked at Breezes Resort and Spa Rio Bueno, Grand Lido Braco and RIU Palace Montego Bay. Samuels explains that nothing feels as good as hearing that your clients are satisfied; it makes you want to repeat the effort.<br /> <br /> Samuels has a love for seafood and seasonings and thinks nothing beats the basics of salt, pepper and fresh herbs. His dream chef to partner with is Masaharu Morimoto because of his love for Japanese cuisine.<br /> <br /> Raveion Dove<br /> <br /> Banquet Chef/Food Preparation Supervisor, Montego Bay Convention Centre<br /> <br /> Twenty-seven-year-old Raveion Dove from Withorn in Westmoreland gives his general love for food and his grandmother, who was a caterer, as the catalyst for venturing into the culinary arts. He studied food preparation and culinary arts at Heart Trust-Culloden, and Northwest TVET Institute-Kenilworth Campus. Previous stints included tours at Grand Lido Negril and The Palms Resort in Negril.<br /> <br /> Dove loves working with beef, pork and seafood and is a proponent of the use of local herbs and spices. He is motivated now, he shared with Thursday Food, to improve on his skills and knowledge as he believes these can never be too much.<br /> <br /> A firm believer in the ability of Jamaica to become a world-class culinary destination, Dove states he will always keep his dishes authentic and distinctly Jamaican, but with a subtle intertwining of other styles to keep it fresh, bold and imaginative.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13629799/256635_83857_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, February 09, 2017 3:00 AM Chefs to Watch for 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chefs-to-Watch-for-2017_88143 Thursday Food spotlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings <br /> <br /> Klaus Frauenschlager<br /> <br /> Executive chef &mdash; Iberostar Grand Hotel<br /> <br /> Chef Klaus studied at the prestigious School of Hotel Management in Tegernsee, Germany and successfully completed his Master Chef training at the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Gaining experience at various top Michelin star restaurants in and around Europe and the USA. He is currently the executive chef at the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand Hotel, Jamaica where he is instrumental in developing the greatest culinary experience for guests.<br /> <br /> Alfonso Manjon Pe&ntilde;alver<br /> <br /> Executive chef &mdash; Iberostar Beach Hotel<br /> <br /> Born in Barcelona, Spain, the effervescent 49-year-old chef, who was educated at the May Hoffmann Culinary School and has had an impressive culinary repertoire in top establishments across Europe, has spent the last seven years working at the Iberostar resorts throughout the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Horace Radcliff<br /> <br /> Executive sous chef &mdash; Iberostar Beach Hotel<br /> <br /> Upon successful completion of the Heart Trust/NTA Commis Chef programme in Jamaica, Radcliff quickly racked up experience in various 5-star hotels in Jamaica and the USA. Radcliff holds the position of sous chef at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel where he provides invaluable expertise in the culinary department. <br /> <br /> Charley Farquharson<br /> <br /> Executive sous chef<br /> <br /> &mdash; <br /> <br /> Iberostar Grand Hotel<br /> <br /> Chef Charley is the proud holder of a Commis Chef Certificate and Sous Chef Diploma from the Heart Trust/NTA in Jamaica. He honed his experience in the Food and Beverage department of numerous 5-star hotels in Jamaica. He currently proves his culinary prowess as a sous chef at the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand Hotel.<br /> <br /> Alecia Samuels-Henderson<br /> <br /> Executive sous chef<br /> <br /> &mdash; <br /> <br /> Iberostar Grand Hotel<br /> <br /> Chef Alecia studied at the reputable Western Hospitality Institute in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She completed her chef internships in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic and commenced her culinary journey at the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand Hotel where today she is one of the first female sous chefs at Iberostar, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13614668/255571_82627_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:00 AM Campari Take 7! #RedDiaries http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Campari-Take-7---RedDiaries-------_88136 What to do after a 17-year successful Campari Calendar run? Well, if you&rsquo;re Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO Gruppo Campari, you up the ante and, in his own words, &ldquo;move out of your comfort zone and raise the bar&hellip; innovate without ever forgetting our heritage&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> The result: Campari Red Diaries featuring 12 bartenders each sharing a carefully crafted cocktail inspired by a not-so-typical experience. <br /> <br /> With a flick of the wrist bartenders are positioned front and centre of this campaign. What better way to pay homage to heritage!<br /> <br /> The innovation comes in the form of a 13-minute documentary starring screen idol Clive Owen - absolute genius with the movie premiere taking place in Rome, the symbolic hub of Italian cinema.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life<br /> <br /> starts the reveal with seven of the 12 cocktails captured by acclaimed Argentinian photographer Ale Burset.<br /> <br /> Editor&rsquo;s Note:<br /> <br /> Although the region is artfully represented by Jennyfer Lee and Jorge Cordero of The Dominican Republic, who will be sharing their skills later this year, our hope is that the next bartender will be from The Rock!<br /> <br /> Take note, be inspired and keep reading our pages for more&hellip; <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the moment, more than ever, cocktails are very revered &mdash; there&rsquo;s been a real rise in the artistic flair of cocktail making and bars that specialise in producing really good quality cocktails. I kinow from my experience of traveling around the world that every cocktail is different and being able to mix a cocktail exquisitely is a real art form.<br /> <br /> People love a good cocktail and thay are beginning mor than ever to seek out great cocktail makers from particular bars or hotels.&rdquo; &mdash; Clive Owen<br /> <br /> Anita<br /> <br /> Thalita Alves<br /> <br /> Australia<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 2 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 4 cl Cachaca Sagatiba Velha<br /> <br /> 2 cl fresh blood orange juice<br /> <br /> 1 cl fresh lime juice<br /> <br /> 1 cl macadamia orgeat syrup<br /> <br /> Fresh basil sprigs <br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with a single big block of ice and shake well.<br /> <br /> &bull; Strain the mixture into a crystal cocktail glass<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with fresh basil sprigs<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Crystal cocktail glass <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Quintessenza<br /> <br /> Nagore Arregui<br /> <br /> Spain<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 3 c<br /> <br /> l Campari<br /> <br /> 3 cl Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso <br /> <br /> 3 cl prawn-infused gin<br /> <br /> 1 dash artichoke essence, long dehydrated grapefruit and orange peel zest<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Stir Campari, Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso and prawn-infused gin with ice<br /> <br /> &bull; Add a dash of artichoke bitter into the mixing glass and continue stirring<br /> <br /> &bull; Strain into a chilled glass that has already been filled with grapefruit and orange zest<br /> <br /> &bull; Finally, smoke the drink by using the smoking gun with artichoke chips<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock glass<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Around The World With A Negroni<br /> <br /> Jennyfer Lee & Jorge Cordero<br /> <br /> Dominican Republic<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 2 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 2 cl Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso<br /> <br /> 2 cl Bulldog Gin<br /> <br /> 2 cl mandarin juice, slice of orange, coffee-flavoured tequila spheres, pink pepper<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Add ice and pour in all the ingredients<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with a slice of orange and complete with a little wooden spoon with spheres of coffee-flavoured tequila inside<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with pink pepper around the rim of the glass<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> A Lucky Roman<br /> <br /> Americano<br /> <br /> Luana Bosello, Italy<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 3 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 3 cl Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso<br /> <br /> 3cl Cynar<br /> <br /> 2 dashes peppermint bitter,<br /> <br /> rosemary top soda, spearmint<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour Campari, Cinzano 1757 Vermouth Rosso, Cynar and the peppermint bitter into a tin and mix them using the throwing technique<br /> <br /> &bull; Fill a rock glass ith ice, pour in the rosemary soad and then add the other ingredients from the mixing tin<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with spearmint<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Alpha<br /> <br /> Patrice Plante<br /> <br /> Canada<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 2 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 2 cl Espolon Blanco<br /> <br /> 1.5 cl Agave syrup<br /> <br /> 2 cl lemon juice<br /> <br /> 1 dash orgeat syrup<br /> <br /> 8 raspberries<br /> <br /> 1 star anise<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; In a shaker, muddle the raspberries with the syrups<br /> <br /> &bull; Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice<br /> <br /> &bull; Double strain into a chilled glass<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with the star anise<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Cocktail<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Kula Negroni<br /> <br /> Julie Reiner<br /> <br /> USA<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 3 cl strawberry infused Campari<br /> <br /> 3 cl London Dry Gin<br /> <br /> Orange twist and a fresh strawberry<br /> <br /> Method: <br /> <br /> In a mixing glass, combine strawberry infused Campari<br /> <br /> Cinzano Vermouth Bianco and London Dry Gin<br /> <br /> Add ice and stir<br /> <br /> Strain over one large ice block<br /> <br /> Garnish with orange twist and a fresh strawberry<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Rock <br /> <br /> Ete Anise<br /> <br /> Jan & Hannah Van Ongevalle<br /> <br /> Belgium<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> 5 cl Campari<br /> <br /> 3.5 cl sour orange mix<br /> <br /> 1.5 cl simple syrup<br /> <br /> 2 brspns Absinthe<br /> <br /> 2 brspns Rinquinquin<br /> <br /> 2 cl tonic water<br /> <br /> dehydrated orange<br /> <br /> star anise and edible flowers<br /> <br /> Method<br /> <br /> &bull; Pour all the ingredients (except tonic) into a shaker<br /> <br /> &bull; Shake well and then strain into a highball glass with chips of ice<br /> <br /> &bull; Top with tonic water<br /> <br /> &bull; Garnish with edible flowers and star anise<br /> <br /> Glass<br /> <br /> Highball glass<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13614651/255553_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:00 AM 12 Chefs of Christmas Cementing Relationships http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/12-Chefs-of-Christmas-Cementing-Relationships_88055 Sunday last, Thursday Life was on site at the 12 Chefs of Christmas thank-you dinner hosted at the well-appointed home of President and CEO of Jamaica Broilers Group Christopher Levy and his wife Sally. The exquisite affair included friends and family of The 12 Best Dressed Chefs, specially invited guests and members of the Best Dressed family. Guests chilled, Sunday-style, with live entertainment from the Warm N&rsquo; Easy band, a sumptuos spread, spectacular decor and easy camaraderie. <br /> <br /> The evening winded down with profound testimonies made by all 12 Chefs who shared the same sentiments &mdash; that the 12 chefs of Christmas campaign was about so much more than food; it was about creating unique memories with families across Jamaica. The testimonies left guests in a reflective mood. Indeed, for Michele Williams the campaign was about preparing a last meal for a 19-year-old female barely clutching to life. &ldquo;Her wish,&rdquo; shared an emotional Williams, was to celebrate Christmas (for the final time with her family). She passed 24 hours after the catered Christmas lunch&rdquo;... Chef Simone Walker-Barrett spoke of her family who graciously invited a group of children to their Christmas dinner but had no dining table, a situation temporarily rectified by Walker-Barrett.The Jamaica Broilers Group is putting plans in place for a permanent dining table. &ldquo;We take a lot for granted,&rdquo; expressed Steve Sowa, who catered to a family from Trelawny. Chef Ravi Anne, who was the last to share his experiences, implored the others to do as much as they can to help others while they can. He closed, &ldquo;Be good and walk good.&rdquo; A statement which certainly resonated with guests summed up the atmosphere of the evening and underscored that The Jamaica Broilers Group is indeed a company built on relationships. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13613865/255429_82597_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:00 AM Peppa&rsquo;s Cool Spot http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Peppa-s-Cool-Spot_88060 True foodies from Kingston to Montego Bay know the name Peppa. Indeed, once the name is mentioned it&rsquo;s sure to evoke a few fond food memories. Whether from his stints at Coral Cliff, (yes, those Sunday brunches are still talked about), Chill Out Hut or privately catered events where guests speak in hushed, reverent tones about his grilled salmon, his fans still follow him.<br /> <br /> Having opened his own eatery in March of last year, Bernard &lsquo;Peppa&rsquo; Morrison has aptly dubbed it &lsquo;Peppa&rsquo;s Cool Spot.&rsquo; Located at Ramparts Close, just off Leaders Ave in Montego Bay, Morrison has seen his chill spot quickly become a must-do food spot in the second city.<br /> <br /> With its cool, laid-back vibe, Peppa&rsquo;s Cool Spot, quietly tucked away on a cul de sac, has the trappings of a food joint on the outskirts of the city as opposed to being smack in the middle of it (talk about location, location, location!).<br /> <br /> With favourites such as steamed fish and bammy, grilled conch and lobster served against a rustic setting, Peppa&rsquo;s Cool Spot is definitely one to add to your list of travel stops.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life opened the doors of Peppa&rsquo;s just for you; do take a look at what we found inside. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13613597/255467_82552_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 12:00 AM Hard Rock Caf&eacute;, MoBay, Creating Tasty Memories http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Hard-Rock-Caf---MoBay--Creating-Tasty-Memories_88093 Jamaica officially welcomed its first Hard Rock Caf&eacute; in Montego Bay late last year and Thursday Life is delighted to report that the buzz is worthy of note.<br /> <br /> Hard Rock Caf&eacute; Montego Bay features music memorabilia in sync with being in the home of reggae. It also has the distinction of being the only Hard Rock Caf&eacute; in the world to have a beach (yes, we are Jamaicans; we had to be unique in some way).<br /> <br /> Located at Freeport in what was originally the Seawind Club, the restaurant has interior dining space plus an event room, and exterior dining spaces such as the deck, patio and cabanas.<br /> <br /> What keeps patrons returning are the food, ambiance and the upbeat, energetic staff.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Since opening December of last year, we have had fantastic support from our local community,&rdquo; shared Shaniin Morales-Lewin, group sales and marketing manager, Hqrd Rock Caf&eacute; Montego Bay. &ldquo;Our focus is on good music, great food and unforgettable fun for Montego Bay, and that is what we intend to keep on doing at Hard Rock Caf&eacute; Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> Join us as we take a walk on the wild side&hellip; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13613583/255511_82523_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:00 AM From the Grapes to the Bottle &mdash; What Happens in the Winery http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/From-the-Grapes-to-the-Bottle---What-Happens-in-the-Winery_88099 While the grapes for making red, white, ros&eacute; and sparkling wines are picked in similar fashion, they are all converted to wine in slightly different ways. I think it is important to have an idea of how wine is made, because it will help the wine lover or the curious drinker to appreciate the process leading to the final product. Excellent wine comes from excellent grapes, so it&rsquo;s now up to the winemaker to convert them into amazing wine. <br /> <br /> Stemmer-Crusher<br /> <br /> After the grapes are delivered and weighed, depending on the style/type of wine being made, the grapes will be inspected either by hand or by machine. The grapes &mdash; still in whole clusters &mdash; enter the stemmer-crusher machine which separates them from the stems. The grapes then go into the crusher which breaks open the skins, allowing the juice to run out (free-run juice). Some wines are only made from free-run juice while others will combine this juice and the pressed juice &mdash; obtained when machines squeeze every drop of juice from the grapes.<br /> <br /> Manipulated to perfection<br /> <br /> If all the winemaking conditions were perfect &mdash; from the moment the grapes were planted until the fermentation process was completed &mdash; then little manipulation by the winemaker would be necessary. Of course, perfect conditions don&rsquo;t exist, and many decisions must be made &mdash; including what yeast to use (natural or cultivated), how to ferment, how long to ferment, at what temperature to ferment, and how to handle the &lsquo;cap&rsquo; which is formed when fermentation causes the skins to rise to the top of the tank. In red wine production it is important for the skins to be in contact with the juice to make the clear grape juice turn red. The winemaker must decide which method (punching down or pumping over) will be used to keep mixing the cap with the wine many times daily, each method affecting the wine&rsquo;s character. <br /> <br /> Red and white made differently<br /> <br /> While we want the skins to remain in contact with the juice, white wine production calls for the white grape skins to be separated from the juice shortly after the pressing of the grapes. To make pink (or ros&eacute;), one method is to start with the red wine process then siphon off the juice shortly after contact with the skins. Only in the Champagne region in France are wine producers allowed to blend red and white to form ros&eacute; wine. <br /> <br /> Many other decisions affect how wines taste<br /> <br /> If the grapes were not ripe enough to produce high enough alcohol levels, the winemaker might add sugar to the juice before fermentation begins. This is called capitalisation, which is not legal in all winegrowing regions. Sediment produced during the fermentation process is referred to as the &lsquo;lees&rsquo;, and the winemaker might remove it quickly or allow the wine to sit on the lees for an extended period to add some special character and taste to the wine. What type of vessel will the fermentation take place in &mdash; stainless steel or wood? How long will the wine age before it is bottled and sold? These are two of many questions that the winemaker must contend with in making his wine.<br /> <br /> So, if you are one of those people who don&rsquo;t drink wines from certain countries or those that are made from certain grapes, then think again, because there are so many moving parts affecting the product that you might be missing out on some excellent wines. <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &mdash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13613414/255522_82426_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:00 AM Video: ALL THE KRAVE! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/ALL-THE-KRAVE-_87433 We arrive at Krave, which now enjoys the reputation as a two-time best brunch recipient of the Trinidad & Tobago Table Talk Food Awards. The restaurant acquired their second nod in the category, two Tuesdays before &mdash; thanks to the leadership of director Damion Persard and executive chef Dominique Beens. Thursday Life, with a hankering for seafood and more, settles in for an interlude at the &lsquo;modern chic dining&rsquo; digs of this Tarouba Plaza haven, which begins fittingly with delicate clinks of Dom P&eacute;rignon champagne. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13598565/254174_81224_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Trinidad Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:00 AM Video: &lsquo;Rum, Rhythm & Roots&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/-Rum--Rhythm-and-Roots-_87530 British-Jamaican reggae musician, celebrity chef and restaurateur Keith Graham, also known as Levi Roots, has been working with Sandals Resorts International for the past few years on a fantastic and most fabulous concept called &lsquo;Rum, Rhythm & Roots&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> The celebrity chef again worked his magic, last Friday, during his second culinary master class at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in the garden parish. The resort&rsquo;s amphitheatre housed Levi&rsquo;s 38 guests, all visiting from the UK, for a tantalising eight-day experience. They were introduced to traditional Caribbean flavours and dishes, including ackee and salt fish and sweet &lsquo;n&rsquo; sour honey and tamarind-glazed chicken. These dishes were topped off with a Whack-Me-Bottom cocktail.<br /> <br /> After displaying his impressive culinary skills, Levi shared, &ldquo;I try to tell them about the greatest fast food that we have in the whole wide world, which is jerk chicken from Jamaica, and the spices are created here. It&rsquo;s great to do something for them that resonates with those spices and they absolutely love it and enjoyed the whole history of what it is about.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Rum, Rhythm & Roots went far beyond guests indulging in an array of flavours, as they were also given a true Saturday market experience, and escorted by Levi to the Ocho Rios farmers&rsquo; market, to better appreciate the produce used to create the meals.<br /> <br /> Levi shared some of his mouth-watering recipes and now you can try them right at home!<br /> <br /> Ackee and salt fish<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13598587/254308_81157_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:00 AM On the go at Viaaa http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/On-the-go-at-Viaaa_87435 Hours ahead of the Trinidad & Tobago Table Talk Food Awards at Estate 101 in Maraval, two Tuesdays ago &mdash; en route North &mdash; just outside of San Fernando, we stop at Tarouba Plaza in Marabella to get a slice of the bustling lunch-time crowd at Viaaa Restaurant & Bakery. The predominantly lunch-counter and baked-goods establishment retails meals from an active service line as well as assorted treats for the sweet tooth and the more savoury palate. Thursday Life joins the queue as we gauge the temperature of this Tarouba Road hot-spot. <br /> <br /> PHOTOS: GARFIELD ROBINSON <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13598498/254293_81190_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:00 AM The Cream Continues To Rise at Aioli http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/The-Cream-Continues-To-Rise-at-Aioli_87431 It&rsquo;s Monday, January 16 in the Trinibagonian capital of Port of Spain, and founder & executive chef John Aboud&rsquo;s gourmet temple Aioli beckons &mdash; this the eve of the third Trinidad & Tobago Table Talk Food Awards. Hesitation there is not as Thursday Life gussies up for dinner reservations at the Ellerslie Plaza eatery in Maraval, where Italian, French, Spanish/Basque and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine is married with thoughtful desserts, consistent attention to the front-of-house experience &mdash; all set within moody interiors. Amid the warm glow of flickering votives and decanted red vino, what could possibly go wrong? In the skillful hands of this year&rsquo;s beneficiary of the &lsquo;Best Desserts at a Restaurant&rsquo;, &lsquo;Best Service&rsquo;, and &lsquo;Restaurant of the Year&rsquo; &mdash; absolutely nothing.<br /> <br /> PHOTOS: GARFIELD ROBINSON <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13598192/254144_81250_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Trinidad Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:00 AM How wine is made, and why you should care http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/How-wine-is-made--and-why-you-should-care_87391 An understanding of how grape juice is turned into wine will give us some insight into this complex world and will also help to demonstrate that all wines are not created equal. Simply saying that wine is made through fermentation &mdash; a process by which yeast converts the sugars in grapes (or any fruit, for that matter) into alcohol and carbon dioxide &mdash; is oversimplifying the tremendous work undertaken by the vineyard management and the wine-making team. The grape grower and the winemaker must work together to determine what type and style of wine they intend to produce. <br /> <br /> In the vineyard &ndash; from soil to harvest<br /> <br /> Firstly, not all grapes can be used for making wine. The selected species must have all the necessary nutrients and must be able to withstand the climatic conditions where they are grown. The vast majority of wines are produced by Vitis Vinifera grapes. More than 5,000 varieties exist within the species Vitis Vinifera. Some of the most popular varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling. In order to produce all the amazing wines that we enjoy, many decisions have to be made about the type of soil in which the grapes will be planted, the location of the vineyard, the range of grape-growing techniques, and the laws of the country with respect to what is allowed in terms of yield, irrigation, and a host of other factors &mdash; all of which affect how the wine will eventually taste. <br /> <br /> Understanding the growing season might not influence most of us to select one bottle over another, but to the grape growers this is critical. In the northern hemisphere, the growing season begins in early spring between February and April (in the South it is about six months later) depending on the altitude of the vineyard, and ends with the harvest in autumn just before the winter. <br /> <br /> Harvest<br /> <br /> Deciding when to pick is extremely important. Both the grower and the winemaker keep a very close eye on the vineyard, always testing and measuring the ripeness of the grapes while watching the weather. Many of the grape varietals that we know and love mature and ripen at different times, and the winery employs a wide range of systems and technologies in order to ensure, depending on the type of wine they are planning to make, that the grapes are picked at their optimal ripeness. You might have seen the term &ldquo;late harvest&rdquo; on a bottle; now you know what that means. The time of day (or night) when the grapes are picked also contributes to the quality and freshness of the wines that are produced.<br /> <br /> Why you should care<br /> <br /> Have you ever heard someone say that they don&rsquo;t drink wine made by a certain varietal? Let us look, for example, at Chardonnay or Merlot. I often try to explain that depending on where the grape is grown, who the growers and winemakers are, and all the different decisions that they make along the way, it is highly unlikely that all Merlots or Chardonnays will taste exactly the same. Just chill out and try the wine, I say.<br /> <br /> Next week we will look at what happens in the winery &mdash; from the grape to the bottle. <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &mdash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13597751/254084_81119_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 26, 2017 3:00 AM Hot-N-Ready meets Mardi Gras http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Hot-N-Ready-meets-Mardi-Gras_86809 The spirit of Hot-N-Ready Meets Mardi Gras was alive on Monday afternoon when Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Little Caesars Pizza celebrated the grand opening of a new location in Manor Centre.<br /> <br /> Though the doors may have opened for business in December 2016, Restaurant Associates Limited decided on a grand opening on January 16, 2017, to commemorate the occasion with its customers, stakeholders and partners. <br /> <br /> The festivities kicked off with a performance from the Ashe Company performing a medley of songs while incorporating the Popeye&rsquo;s/Little Caesars Pizza brand.<br /> <br /> Brand Manager, Little Caesars and Popeyes Richard Dunn spoke on the theme &lsquo;Little Ceasars Pizza meets Mardi Gras&rsquo;. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Hot-N-Ready; that means no wait, no call, no line. You come in and get it.&rdquo; The experience was described as unique and efficient in every way. <br /> <br /> He also spoke to Popeyes&rsquo; bold and unique flavour that resonates with customers. <br /> <br /> Restaurant Associates Limited Group CEO Richard Lake, who addressed the gathering on behalf of his company, spoke on the expansion of the brand. &ldquo; We have great plans to open at least 10 stores for the combined brand; not together, but individually. The brand will create employment for almost 300 people and we are very proud of that,&rdquo; he noted. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581636/253008_79884_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Chefs to watch 2017 - A Taste of Couples http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chefs-to-watch-2017---A-Taste-of-Couples_86323 Thursday Food spotlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings. <br /> <br /> Errol Sewell, pastry chef, Couples Negril<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> A young, inspiring 32-year-old pastry chef who hails from Lime Hall, St Ann, Sewell&rsquo;s passion for pastry comes from his mother, who always baked Christmas and wedding cakes and would reward him with his own cake after helping with the preparations. Upon leaving the Marcus Garvey Technical High School where he majored in home economics, Sewell worked at the Franklyn D Resort for about three years as the baker and then ventured to Runaway Bay HEART Culinary College for one year where he received medals for various pastry competitions.<br /> <br /> Desirous of learning more, he got an opportunity to work with the JW Marriott & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for six years as a pastry team leader, where he learned the art of pastillage and French pastries. In 2011, he joined Couples Resorts as a pastry team leader and was recently promoted to the position of pastry chef of Couples Negril, where he continues to train younger chefs in the field. <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Cleona Richards Campbell, pastry chef, Couples Swept Away<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Cleona Richards Campbell was born in Kingston, but would travel to Westmoreland with her sister Nicole (now deceased) to spend holidays with their grandmother who had a passion for baking. Campbell credits her grandmother for her foray into baking.<br /> <br /> Her foot through the door at Couples Negril landed her in the housekeeping department. Campbell began cross-training in the pastry department, where she displayed such passion, willingness and determination that she was transferred permanently, and has never looked back. In 2007, she was transferred to Couples Swept Away, where she was promoted to the position of pastry chef in 2012.<br /> <br /> Over the years, Richards-Campbell has entered several competitions, winning many awards. She received additional training in Canada at the George Brown College. She credits her success to her own hard work and motivation, her hard-working staff, and the mentorship she received from Corporate Executive Chef, Stefan Spath, who she says believed in her from the start. <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Valentine McKenzie, executive chef Couples Tower Isle<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> McKenzie&rsquo;s culinary journey started at the age of 10; there wasn&rsquo;t much of a choice. His father was working abroad while his mother worked six days a week. Sundays would find him in the kitchen making meals for the family. He soon realised that he had found his calling.<br /> <br /> Born in 1973, McKenzie was raised in Ocho Rios and started his career at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel, moving on to the Boscobel Beach Hotel and then the Sans Souci Hotel, where he was once again promoted. He reached the position of acting executive chef/executive sous-chef when the hotel was rebranded Couples Sans Souci. <br /> <br /> As a result of his strong management skills and his incredible passion for food, he was promoted to the position of executive chef at Couples Tower Isle in 2012. &ldquo;What really sets McKenzie apart from his peers is his excellent understanding of flavour combinations, which makes every dish superlative,&rdquo; states corporate executive chef at Couples Resorts, Stefan Spath, who added: &ldquo;His food is constantly changing, as he is always exploring new territories in the world of cuisine and is never afraid to take a risk as he keeps up with new trends.&rdquo;<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Tyrone Jackson, executive sous chef, Couples Negril<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Tyrone Jackson was born in Cold Spring, Hanover, but moved to Negril to live with his spiritual grandmother at a young age. There, he spent much of his time in the kitchen, helping her to prepare meals. Her son, Daniel Grizzle, noticed Jackson&rsquo;s enthusiasm for cooking and encouraged his passion by having him work with the chefs at his hotel, Charela Inn, in Negril, during the holidays. Sylvia Grizzle, an expert in French cuisine, once told him that the most important thing about cooking is the taste; her early advice has never left him. <br /> <br /> Jackson joined the Couples Swept Away family in 1998 as a temporary cook in the staff canteen. He was transferred within months to the gourmet restaurant, where he learned the fundamentals of food preparation. <br /> <br /> His culinary skills were further honed in the USA. <br /> <br /> Upon returning to the Group he was made team leader in the Feathers Restaurant, where he excelled.<br /> <br /> Stints followed at Couples Negril, where he was promoted to the position of sous-chef and, after four years, executive sous-chef. He works closely with the executive chef in menu planning and training of team members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of my passions is giving personalised service to our guests, especially those with special dietary needs. I like utilising fresh ingredients straight from the farm,&rdquo; states Jackson.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Chef Morice Lewis, executive chef Couples Sans Souci<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Lewis has been working with Couples Resorts since 2002 after gaining culinary experience in several Caribbean islands. He returned to Couples in 2007 as executive sous-chef at Couples Negril and was then transferred to Couples Swept Away and eventually promoted to executive chef at Couples Sans Souci in 2012.<br /> <br /> Born and raised in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, Lewis is a passionate and driven chef who takes great pride in training and mentoring younger professionals in the field. He recently became a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and has hosted several of its events. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is my goal to make my guests happy,&rdquo; states Lewis. &ldquo;As a perfectionist, I strive to achieve this at all times.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582078/252222_79910_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Coming Soon&hellip; Whitebones Seafood Express http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Coming-Soon--Whitebones-Seafood-Express_86395 Whitebones Seafood Restaurant, which is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Richard and Jacqueline Elliott and located at 1 Mannings Hill Road, Mary Brown&rsquo;s Corner, opened on February 6, 2006.<br /> <br /> A decade later the couple has, as a result of customer demand, sought a second location. Thursday Food shares more&hellip;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are,&rdquo; shared Jacqueline Elliott, &ldquo; opening an additional outlet at 10 Altamont Crescent. This, to meet the seafood demands for lunch of our loyal corporate and New Kingston customers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will open as Whitebones Seafood Express and offer takeout or delivery service.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Plans are in place for a soft launch on Monday, January 30, 2017.<br /> <br /> Opening hours thereafter will be Mondays - Fridays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.<br /> <br /> And what can patrons look forward to?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Existing patrons and new ones,&rdquo; said Elliott, &ldquo;can enjoy our delectable lunch menu offerings at our new and central location. On the menu will be soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, lasagne, fish, shrimp, pastas, vegetarian, and much more&hellip; which will be available for takeout and/or delivery.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> With their best seller &mdash; you guessed it, fish &mdash; prepared a myriad ways, like in a curry coconut sauce, steamed and/ or roasted, pastas and shrimp dishes are also in high demand.<br /> <br /> Reckon on an average lunch spend of between $500.00 to $1,200.00.<br /> <br /> Editor&rsquo;s Note: Whitebones Seafood Restaurant also offers vegetarian plates, surf and turf and chicken and lamb. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581607/252340_79845_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM